Bellevue Family Dentistry provides comprehensive services that are provided to help prevent problems in the future such as decay, fracture lines, sensitivity, or abscesses. These preventative services include new patient exams, periodic exams, prophylaxis cleanings, fluoride treatments, and digital X-rays.
New Patient Exam
This comprehensive oral evaluation and consultation focuses on learning about you, your health, and the goals you may have for your ideal smile. 2016 regulations require files to be digital, therefore all of this information is charted and kept seamlessly in our computer files, so that our X-rays, notes, periodontal charts, and evaluations are available on a quick recall. Extra time is taken to thoroughly check for oral cancers, diagnose X-rays, check your gums, and learn about your dental history. After having your X-rays updated, Dr. Kevin Wall will take a look at your gums. We use an instrument called a “periodontal probe,” which is like a tiny ruler that measures where your gum attaches to your tooth. The numbers range from 1mm- 10mm, and serves as an excellent basis on how healthy your mouth is; ideally you would like a number less than 3mm, and we do everything in our ability to keep this measurement low, and your mouth as healthy as possible. Dr. Wall is available to answer all of your questions that you may have, and from there a treatment plan is created, if necessary.
Periodic Dental Exam
We, at Bellevue Family Dentistry, recommend periodic cleanings for preventative care. We usually see our patients 2-4 times per year to help them keep their teeth and gums in optimum condition for a longer healthier life. We have found that keeping up with your routine visits helps us detect any problem areas sooner, so that we can address the issues while they are small saving you both time and money.
A prophylaxis cleaning is more commonly known as the “cleaning and polish.” We have state of the art equipment and new techniques to use to ensure that this cleaning is as comfortable and spa-like as possible. Our hygienist has an instrument that uses ultrasonic waves and water to gently vibrate tarter away from the tooth while simultaneously flushing away bacteria and plaque with an antimicrobial rinse. Hand instruments can also be used, when preferred, to provide that deeper clean below the level of the gum. After all of the tarter and plaque is thoroughly removed, the hygienist will then polish your teeth using an electric hand piece and a safe an effective pumice to polish and shine your enamel. The cleaning will be complete once your teeth have been flossed appropriately, and the doctor examines your home care and progress.
Patients that suffer from periodontal disease, or gum disease, require a particular type of maintenance, because the process of this disease leaves several scars to the gums- creating pockets and bone loss which can lead to infection, mobility of the teeth, and even tooth loss. Periodontal disease is not a curable disease, but it is controllable in most cases. We recommend patients that have a history of periodontal disease, which is more common than you would think, see a hygienist 3 to 4 times per year. This cleaning schedule will help keep calculus from building up beneath the level of the gum and will ultimately help keep the bone around your teeth healthy so that you are able to keep your teeth as long as possible.
A Fluoride treatment is recommended at every dental cleaning appointment. Research shows that your teeth stop absorbing vital nutrients and calcium after the age of 15, and for that reason the American Dental Association has endorsed the use of a varnish that is applied topically to the enamel of your teeth. The teeth absorb the fluoride through their tiny tubules or pores. This treatment helps teeth with sensitivity issues, and also has been shown to decrease the risk of cavities by providing nutrients to help the enamel get stronger and harder for bacteria to break through.
There are two types of Digital X-rays that we take routinely.
The first set is called a “Panoramic Image,” taken by our Panorex. This X-ray shows us a detailed image of your jaw, sinuses, bone level, and all of your teeth (including those wisdom teeth!) all on one picture. We use this picture to diagnose TMJ issues, whether or not a tooth needs to be extracted, to explain that your tooth pain may be coming from your sinuses, and to show that bone loss can be prevented from worsening. We recommend this X-ray to be taken once every 5 years for preventative reasons, but also can be taken in any circumstance that arises that the Dentist may find this image to be beneficial.
The second set of X-rays we recommend taking once a year, and these are called, “Bitewings.” Usually we take a set of four (2 on each side), and these pictures are very detailed images of the tooth’s enamel. They show areas of decay in between the teeth that aren’t as easily seen from inside the mouth. Current Research shows that if we find areas that are starting to decay and catch them before they reach the middle layer of the tooth (the dentin), then the enamel can start to restore itself, and you can possibly avoid a filling or restoration!
Full Mouth Debridement
A full mouth debridement is also called a “gross scale.” This is a procedure that is perfomed when there is either an excess of calculus built up, which prevents an accurate reading of the health of your teeth and gums, or when it has been several years since your teeth have been professionally cleaned. This is usually a two visit procedure at Bellevue Family Dentistry. The first visit usually takes about 45 to 60 minutes and involves removing as much calculus as possible around and in between all of the teeth. The second visit takes about 45 minutes and is called a prophylaxis visit, and is used to do a fine scale and polish. After a full mouth debridement, regular 6 month appointments are encouraged to keep teeth in optimum condition.
Periodontal Scaling & Root Planing
At your initial visit, a chart of your gum health is recorded. This is done quantitatively by using a ruler to measure in millimeters where your gum attaches to the tooth. The smaller this measurement is, the healthier your mouth is. Any measurements above 4 millimeters require attention, and may mean that you have the beginning stages of periodontal disease.This is a procedure that is highly recommended for patients that have active periodontal disease that needs immediate therapy. As of now, periodontal disease is not curable, but it is definitely controllable in most cases by perfoming a Scaling and Root Planning procedure. This skill involves using hand instruments and exquisite precision and care to deeply clean beneath the level of the gum and remove all debris and bacteria that causes gum irritation, inflammation, and infection. The purpose of this procedure is to prevent any further bone loss and gum scars which could result in tooth mobility and loss. After active therapy is applied, periodontal maintenance is required until the periodontal measurements remain consistantly below the 3 millimeter or less measurement.
I’m so glad that I found this dental practice. All of the staff here from the front desk to the dental hygienist to Dr. Wall are absolutely lovely people. My dental hygienist is absolutely fantastic! In addition, no unnecessary dental services are pushed here as they have been at other dental practices that I’ve been to. I really appreciate all of the services here. Highly recommend!